64% of Current Students Desire to Work in a State With Legal Abortion Access

Most current and prospective students say they’ll consider potential employers’ support for employees obtaining abortion access when making career decisions after college.

Updated August 9, 2022

64% of Current Students Desire to Work in a State With Legal Abortion Access
Survey Reports
Photo by Roberto Machado Noa / Moment / Getty Images

  • Over half of current students say the recent Roe v. Wade ruling impacts where they plan to live post-graduation.
  • 62% of current students desire to live where abortion is a legally protected right.
  • 59% of current and prospective students will consider a potential employer’s support for employees obtaining abortion access in career decisions.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade is making college students think carefully about their post-graduation career and living plans.

In a new BestColleges survey of 1,000 current and prospective undergraduate and graduate students, 64% of current college students say they desire to work in a state that legally protects the right to abortion. Just 13% of current students say they do not have this desire, while 24% of students are neutral.

A nearly equal percentage of current students say they also desire to live in a state where the right to an abortion is legally protected (62%).

Another recent BestColleges survey found that 59% of current and prospective students oppose the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Additionally, 27% support the decision, 10% are unsure about it, and 4% prefer not to say.

Even among current students who say they support the Court’s decision, 54% still say they desire to work in a state that legally protects the right to abortion. Of those who oppose the decision, 75% desire to work in a state where abortion is legally protected.

Current students who identify as women are significantly more likely than men to say they desire to live (69% vs. 53%) and work (69% vs. 56%) in a state with legal abortion access.

Students Say Overturning Roe v. Wade Impacts Where They Plan to Reside After College

Overall, most current students and those planning to enroll in the next year say they are aware of the abortion laws and regulations in their current (68%) and intended (62%) state of residence. And more than half of current students (52%) say that the Court’s recent ruling will impact the state they choose to live in post-graduation.

Current students residing in the Northeast are most likely to say the decision will impact their post-grad living choices.

Current and prospective students who identify as men are significantly more likely than women to say the Court’s overturning will not impact what state they choose to live in after college (46% vs. 32%). Women are significantly more likely than men to say they are unsure if it will impact their post-grad living decisions (17% vs. 7%).

Most Students Will Consider Employers’ Support For Abortion Access

The majority of current and prospective college students (59%) say they will consider a potential employer’s support for employees obtaining access to abortion when making career decisions after college. A quarter (25%), however, say they will not.

Though similar percentages of Generation Z (ages 16-25) and millennial (ages 26-41) current and prospective students say they will consider this when making career decisions after college (57% vs. 61%), millennials are more likely to say they will not (31% vs. 22%). Generation Z students are significantly more likely than millennials to be unsure (21% vs. 8%).

Men are significantly more likely than women to say they will not consider a potential employer’s support for employees obtaining access to abortion when making career decisions after college (31% vs. 21%).

Current and prospective students living in the Northeast (66%) and West (64%) are more likely than those in the South (55%) and Midwest (52%) to say they will consider this when making post-graduation career decisions.

First-generation current and prospective students are significantly more likely than those who have at least one parent with a college degree to say they will consider potential employers’ support for employees obtaining abortion access when making career decisions after graduating (63% vs. 52%).

Overall, current college students and college-bound learners desire to work and live where abortion access is a legally protected right for all people who can become pregnant, and most will be seeking employers who support employees in obtaining abortion access.

Methodology

The survey was conducted from July 7-13, 2022. Student respondents were fielded by Lucid LLC. Survey participants included 1,000 respondents nationwide who were currently enrolled in or planning to enroll in an undergraduate or graduate degree program at a college or university in the next 12 months. Respondents were 16-65 years of age and currently pursuing or planning to pursue an associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral, or professional degree. The respondents for the survey were screened by various quality checks, including systems like Relevant ID, and responses were manually reviewed to ensure consistency and accuracy.